Saturday, September 15, 2007

Bowl(ed) Out byTwenty-20…….

Yesterday we witnessed a great Twenty-20 match between India And Pakistan.

It had all the ingredients of a typical Hollywood thriller… The ups and Downs of fortunes for the two teams, the Hope and anguish of the players and in the end a stunning surprise result when all was supposed to be over. The final bowl out was a fitting finale to this game.

Very Few ODI Games have turned up to be so exciting in recent times. The last match which was this exciting was the World cup semi final between Australia and South Africa. As usual many News channels in India were discussing weather or not the bowl out was fair. Well the Cricketing greats alwayscompare Cricket to life and life is not always fair. However I do not see a better option than this. It was equally unfair when South Africa had to return home after a splendid performance in the semifinal, as they had lost to Australia during the super six stage.

The Twenty-20 World cup has been an absolute success till now. Chris Gayle’s Classic century, Zimbabwe defeating the world champions, Bangladesh ensuring that the West Indies go home packing even before India, Australia and Sri Lanka played their first match. Twenty-20 Cricket is here to stay. Navjot Singh Siddhu may call it ”Chaddi Cricket”, but what ever be the counter argument for the Twenty-20 World cup, this has been the most exciting tournament ever organized by the ICC.

It would be very interesting to see how many games in Twenty-20 actually end in a draw. There have been 20 odd games in the one day version and 2 games in the test version of the game which have ended in a draw, but the probability of a draw is very remote in the Test and one day versions. We might probably be seeing a lot more of the bowl outs in the coming world cup matches with all the good test playing nations with the exception of West Indies making it to the super 8 stage.

But what happens to the Test matches?? Do they just fade off into the darkness or is there still hope for it. Test cricket may be the longest version of the game but it is also the finest form of Cricket. Even if Twenty-20 becomes the norm of cricket in the coming years, it will be in Test Cricket that a player will have to prove his metal if he wants be recognized as a good player. I guess Test cricket is still not Bowl(ed) out by Twenty-20.

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Monday, September 3, 2007

A matter of Pride for ISRO or great shame for the Indian media.

Yesterday exactly at 6:10 PM India launched the INSAT 4CR, its most advanced satellite till date. The satellite is 2130 kg and is similar to the INSAT-4C which was lost 13 seconds after its launch in July 2006. The mission had its problems with the launch being aborted at 4:30 PM and rescheduled to 6:10 PM. But at the end it was a text book launch will the satellite being placed in a geo-stationary orbit 17 minutes after liftoff.

INSAT-4CR is the third satellite in INSAT-4 series. It carries 12 high-power Ku-band transponders designed to provide Direct-To-home (DTH) television services, Video Picture Transmission (VPT) and Digital Satellite News Gathering (DSNG).

The Real surprise however was the fact that none of the 24 hour news channels bothered to report the successful launch let alone cover it live or speak to the scientists who achieved this remarkable feat. CNN-IBN Live was covering a case where a Child was separated from his parents due to the dictate of the Panchayat. Barkha Dutt was busy conducting a Talk show discussing weather Prostitution should be made legal or not, NDTV showing a interview with Benazir Butto on her plans to return to Pakistan. The worst of the lot were the regional news channels which were giving minute by minute updates on Sanjay Dutt’s visit to Vaishanav Devi. One channel was claiming that the congress government has gone to the dogs as Sanjay Dutt visited the temple in a car meant for MP’s and MLA’s. And Of course all channels had tickers showing the latest score of the India England 5th One day international. The only saving grace, NDTV 24-7 did have a ticker which displayed the fact that the launch was a success.

One cannot help wondering what is wrong with the Indian Media? In other Asian countries the private broadcasters play a more active role in Democracy by reporting the failures of the government and by keeping a tab on all the politicians. The National Media is generally a puppet in the hands of the Government. I guess India is the only exception. The DD News channel does cover all events which are generally of national importance impartially which other Private news channels don’t even bother about. The Lok sabha proceedings are not even mentioned by them unless and until a small battle does not break out between the Government and the opposition.

But probably there is a silver lining to this. In a press statement ISRO Officials claimed that, “The successful launch of GSLV-F04 today has demonstrated the operational reliability of GSLV as well as reiterated the end-to-end capability of ISRO to not only build state-of-the-art communication satellites, but also to launch them using the indigenously” . They couldn’t have had a better vindication of their statement. Probably Satellite launches are no longer a matter of national pride as they have become common place these days in India. My only hope is that the news channels give more importance to ISRO when they Launch “Chandrayan”. India’s first unmanned mission to the moon scheduled takeoff in April 2008 as compared to Sanjay Dutt.
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